Happy Birthday to US! This month we celebrate the first anniversary of Savvy Hip Hops and the 4th edition of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company’s feBREWary beers. While this year’s feBREWary brews are hitting a record-setting 150+ pubs and restaurants across 37 towns and cities.
What is feBREWary all about? For the shortest month of the year, Beau’s releases a new special beer each week. With its popularity, there’s a chance that you (or your local) may have missed a brew or two.
Luckily the Savvy Brew Crew has reserved those beers for you so you can have your own winter beer celebration!
In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find:
The Tom Green Beer! (1 bottle)
Le Coeur Noir (2 bottles)
Strong Patrick (1 bottle)
Farm Ale: Mild Ale (2 bottles)
Dark Helmut (2 bottles)
Bog Water (1 bottle)
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale (1 bottle)
Gigantic Brewing’s La Formidable (1 bottle)
and a bottle of the signature Lug-Tread Lagered Ale for good measure!
Need more beer?
If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. Heads up, most of the feBREWary beers are sold out. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or firstname.lastname@example.org
by Katy Watts
For the past month, I was called on (I consider this a privilege!) to help the Beau’s team with their bus shuttles from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill to bring beer fanatics to the brewery for a winter ‘getaway’.
While at the brewery, it was fun reflecting back on all that has changed since I first visited it in 2009; back when Lug-Tread was sold in ceramic bottles. Remember those good ol days? While the brewing tanks have multiplied and are now much bigger, the high standard of brewing and the feeling that you’re being welcomed like family hasn’t changed one iota!
Traditionally February is a slow month for restaurants, pubs and breweries. It may be due to consumers being shell shocked from holiday bills or maybe the frigid temperatures and snow cause a mini-hibernation. Whatever the case, Beau’s has taken a month where they have a lot of time and resources and turned it into one of the most exciting beer month of the year – feBREWary. At the brewery, nothing stills sit, the brewing team is going full throttle & the retail team is working around the clock…and added to this, the Beau’s team wanted to be featured in Savvy Hip Hops. As if they did not already have enough going on already!
During feBREWary Beau’s enlists over 149 restaurants and pubs across Ontario to help showcase a new special brewed beer each week. According to co-founder Steve Beauchesne, “There are a lot of winter beer styles that suit the season. It’s a lot of coordinating to make, package and ship a new beer each week, but we’d rather have fun than hibernate.”
With this being the fourth edition of feBREWary the Beau’s team really takes it seriously. While talking about the feBREWary brews Steve mentioned, “some of the feBREWary beers have been planned for more than a year, others much less. We have planning meetings weekly with people from many different areas of the brewery, not just the brewers or marketing team.” Everyone is involved in making feBREWary a roaring success.
When the Beau’s staff aren’t busy brewing, packaging, or hosting an expertly paired beer dinner for feBREWary they are at the brewery in Vankleek Hill welcoming up to 3,000 guests for the ‘slow’ month. Visitors to the brewery are treated to samples at the tasting bar, a tour of the facility (you will marvel at the size and amount of bright tanks holding Lug-Tread), and if you’re lucky a chance to pet the brewery cat, Orkin.
Guests with a competitive streak can compete in the Stein Struggle, a competition where you go up against fellow beer fans to see who can hold a stein full of Lug-Tread with a straight arm the longest. It’s hard – try it at home! The longest I’ve seen was 24 minutes.
Five Beers, Five Weeks
Five beers may not seem like a lot, but when you put that together with Beau’s flagship, Lug-Tread, their new releases couple with their B-Side Label there is a lot of beer to make available in FeBREWary. I challenge you to find your favourite, I know I couldn’t and I did some extensive research for this month’s Taste Case!
I turned to Steve and asked what his favourite was and this is what he said, “Tough question, it’s like choosing your favourite child. I’m super-excited to release our next B-Side Brewing Label beer and it’s tasting wonderfully. Strong Patrick back is a treat, Coeur Noir is delicious and the Mild Ale is such a nice session beer; I don’t think I can choose!”
Here’s to feBREWary & the team at Beau’s!
Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!
Lug-Tread Lagered Ale
Tasting Notes: Clean biscuit aroma with hints of green apple and dried grass. Crisp carbonation leads to wonderful malty flavours of bread and biscuit with a clean bite of grassy hops for balance. The finish is dry with a slight herbal-ness.
Suggested Food Pairing: This German inspired brew loves bratwurst, shellfish or grilled chicken dishes or create a cheese plate with Brie, Camembert, Edam or Monterey Jack.
The Tom Green Beer!
This 5% ABV Milk Stout is brewed in collaboration with Beau’s and Canadian actor and comedian Tom Green. A milk stout traditionally uses lactose (milk sugar) to create a more luscious mouthfeel and ‘nourishing’ attributes.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of roasted coffee, cocoa powder and sweet brown sugar lead to creamy flavours of dark chocolate milk, caramel and roasted malts. The lactose makes this brew smooth and silky on the palate, finishing slightly dry.
Suggested Food Pairing: With sweet stouts like this the obvious pairing would be dessert – chocolate cake, a decadent pudding. For the adventurous though go for barbequed beef to bring out the roast or an aged cheddar to accentuate the creaminess.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale
Brewed under the B-Side Label in conjunction with Anders Kissmeyer, this 5.6% ABV brew isn’t your traditional Pale Ale. In addition to the four main brewing ingredients oats, maple syrup, heather flowers, rosehips, cranberries, wild sweet gale and yarrow were used to create a unique blend of Nordic and Canadian brewing traditions.
Tasting Notes: Take a few minutes to take in the aroma on this one, there’s a lot going on! At the start there’s some herbal notes with a touch of peppery spice followed by a tart cranberry that’s muted by a lick of maple syrup. The flavour is full of wonderful herbal and earthiness with a lingering hop bitterness that finishes dry.
Suggested Food Pairing: The herbs used in this brew make it a wonderful match for fresh salads and variety of fish dishes. However, the hop combination let it stand up to spicier dishes like fish tacos or spicy ceviche.
Gigantic Brewing’s La Formidable
Tasting Notes: According to Beau’s this 6.9% American-Belgo IPA has aromas of grapefruit and orange, along with pine notes and white pepper. The flavour is firm, but balanced with a hop bitterness that’s complemented by citrus.
Suggested Food Pairing: The citrus hop and fruity Belgian yeast notes in La Formidable will work wonderfully with a spicy seafood dish like drunken shrimp, spiced halibut or ceviche.
Le Coeur Noir
This beer is the 11th in Beau’s Pro-Am Series which features beers that are designed by amateur brewers, and brewed at Beau’s. Le Coeur Noir Black IPA was brewed in collaboration with the winner of the 2013 Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest, Jordan Rainhard.
Tasting Notes: This opaque brew has a roasted malt aroma with slight hop notes of pine and resin. When the first sip hits your palate you’ll think it starts off quite malty with that roast leading the charge with caramel flavours following through and then it hits you. The hops. Pine, resin, citrus, all at once! You won’t hesitate to take another sip and start the adventure again.
Suggested Food Pairing: Black IPA can be hard to pair due to its robust malt and hop flavours. For help in my pairing I asked Chef Bruce from Beau’s and he suggested pairing it with a strong blue cheese, braised oxtail or a charcuterie plate filled with prosciutto or salami.
Schwartzbier, or black beer, is a German black lager. For those that categorize beer by colour it may be a bit intimidating, but a Schwartzbier is a refreshing dark beer with malty flavours and roast without the heaviness of an ale. Beau’s 7.3% ABV Imperious Schwartzbier was first brewed in 2012 for Oktoberfest and was a big hit!
Tasting Notes: The aroma is full on roast and doesn’t give a hint of any other flavours hiding in the opaque black liquid. Once you get your nerve up and give it a swallow notes of sweet caramel, vanilla and anise cut through the roast ending with a crisp, highly carbonated finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Fondue made with Emmental and Gruyere or roasted meat, sausage or barbeque would complement the malt profile.
Tasting Notes: Sláinte! This brew starts with a warm caramel aroma with a subtle citrus and vanilla note in the background. The flavour starts dry with sweeter malt base opening up to whisky and warming alcohol. Strong Patrick puts you in a headlock with its slightly heavier body and lower carbonation making it easy to open a second bottle.
Suggested Food Pairing: The caramel in this beer will go well with corned beef and cabbage, Irish beef stew or Shepherd’s pie. Or forget about St. Patrick’s Day and pair it with a spicy Quesadilla or Enchilada to bring out more of that malt sweetness.
Farm Table: Mild Ale
This is a throwback to the Mild Ales brewed in England and Wales to quench the thirst of blue collar workers. This 3.7% ABV may be a bit lower in alcohol than you’re used to, but it’s not missing any flavour.
Tasting Notes: A slight aroma of coffee, nuts and caramel lead to a big gulp of malt forward flavours with notes of sweet caramel, grain, and dried dark fruits. The body is fairly light, which makes is very easy to drink, with a slightly dry finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Since this beer is malt forward it’s going to pair well with meaty foods. Go for pub favourites like beef stew or bangers and mash. The dark fruit esters would go well with raisin butter tart or Eccles Cake.
Gruit is a mixture of herbs that medieval brewers used to flavour their beers before the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot) that specified only water, malt and hops were to be used in brewing. Beau’s, and many other breweries, are part of a brewing revival, using wild harvested bog myrtle (sweet gale) to create their own version of Gruit.
Tasting Notes: There’s a herbal tone with sweet aroma of dried dark fruit and brown sugar. The dark fruit carries over to the flavour with some light rye breadiness, herbal bitterness and finishes dry with a soft mouthfeel.
Suggested Food Pairing: The herbs and yeast in this beer will go well with roasted chicken or meats with a good amount of seasoning on it. Think of pairing a gruit with a meat kind of like an extra seasoning kick!
With Lug-Tread Lagered Ale
From Chef Bruce Enloe at The Branch Restaurant and Texas Grill
3 measured amounts: 2 tsp, 2 tsp and ¼ cup vegetable oil
Wood chips, smoker
2 cups ‘vital wheat gluten’ –Bob’s Red Mill version available in the health food section of many grocery stores
2 measured amounts: 1 ½ cups and ½ litres of light unsalted vegetable stock
¼ cup tamari
3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups Beau’s Lug-Tread Lager
Peel and halve the onions, toss with the first 2 tsp of oil and smoke for 45 minutes in your preferred smoker. Then slice thin and caramelize slowly with the second 2 tsp of oil over medium heat until dark brown (not burnt). Cool and mince.
In a large bowl, combine the minced smoked caramelized onions, the ¼ cup oil, gluten flour, the 1 ½ cups light vegetable stock, the tamari, pepper, chilli powder, and garlic and a splash of Lug-Tread.
Mix all the ingredients with your hands until spongy and combined.
Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, cover with the remaining stock and beer, and bake, covered, at 350F for 45 minutes, or until just firm.
Remove the loaf from the pan after this process and broil with the BBQ sauce before serving. Enjoy sliced thin on a sandwich or however you would like your roasted or barbecued beef!
With Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale
From Beau’s resident chef (and Savvy friend!) Chef Bruce Wood www.beaus.ca/recipes
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2lbs ground lamb
4 branches fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 28-ounce tin diced tomatoes
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup lamb or beef stock
1 cup Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale
1 ½ lbs baking or russet potatoes
¼ cup homogenized milk
4 Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
Boil the potatoes, then drain in a sieve and place into a clean bowl. Add the milk, butter and egg yolk, and mash together. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. Add the ground lamb, stirring until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon. Add the thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Add the flour to the mix and stir well, then add the tomatoes, beer and stock and stir well again. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pour the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula. Put this dish into the oven and cook uncovered until the surface is bubbling and golden brown.
With Nordic Pale Ale
From Chef Bruce at Beau’s www.beaus.ca/recipes
1 450g package puff pastry
8 oz smoked trout, flaked
2 tsp mixed chopped herbs (e.g. dill, parsley, tarragon, chives)
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
⅛ tsp sea salt
Pinch ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Using non-stick spray, lightly spray a 12-insert small muffin tin. Remove the pastry from package and unroll. Using a regular Mason jar ring, cut 12 rounds from the pastry and fit into the muffin tin.
Toss the trout with the herbs, and divide between the 12 pastry shells.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs & yolks, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the shells. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and place into oven.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until mixture is just set. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the tartlets from the muffin pan and serve with Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale.
With The Tom Green Beer
From CraftBeer.com (recipe & photo)
1 cup Tom Green Beer
1 cup dark molasses
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
12 ounces Ale (Lug-Tread would be good)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature. Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pans sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes.
Cool cakes on rack for 5 minutes.
Pour Lug-Tread into a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds. Add butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring only when the mixture is in danger of boiling over, until thick and syrupy (10-15 minutes). Slowly stir in cream. Cook for another 5-6 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Cool to warm, it will thicken as it cools. Pour over stout cake and add ice cream if desired.
With Le Coeur Noir
Squash Gnocchi with Blue Cheese, Apple & Sage
From Chef Bruce at Beau’s www.beaus.ca/recipes
1 lb russet potatoes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup roast squash puree
3-4 cup all-purpose flour
Cornmeal (to dust tray)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 fresh sage leaves
1 apple, cut in ¼ “ dice
4 oz blue cheese (such as Glengarry Celtic), crumbled
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Rub the potatoes with a little vegetable oil and salt and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for one hour, or until fork tender. When the potatoes have cooled, peel them and pass them through a food mill (or grate them).
Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the eggs, squash and a pinch of salt. Add 2 cups of flour and mix to combine; the mixture will probably be fairly sticky. Turn out on to a well-floured surface and liberally dust with flour. Knead the dough, adding more flour as it becomes sticky. When the dough is a cohesive ball and is no longer sticky, place in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the gnocchi dough into golf-ball-sized pieces. Using your fingertips roll the dough into a long rope shape about ½” around. Cut the dough into one inch lengths and place on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough until you have a tray full of gnocchi. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the frozen gnocchi into the boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender, drain, and place on a lightly oiled tray until needed.
To finish, heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add the apple and sage and cook for one minute. Add the cooked gnocchi and the blue cheese. Mix to combine.
Serve hot, paired with a bottle of Beau’s Coeur Noir Black IPA.
With Bog Water
Bog Water Sausages
1 small white onion
8 – 12 good quality sausages
½ cup Bog Water
Fresh sage (one leaf per sausage)
1-2 oz maple syrup
In a heated oiled pan, add sausages (pat dry them first with paper towel), once they have browned on one side turn them over and add your onion or shallots (finely chopped ). Add your sage at this point, slightly bruised but left whole. Stir the onions around so they do not burn.
Once both sides of the sausages are browned (no colour – no flavour), add the Bog Water and turn down the heat, the sausages are mostly cooked at this point. The Bog Water is a braising liquid.
Once you are ready to serve check the sausages by poking them in the middle to see if they are firm. You can also poke them with a fork and see if the juices run clear. However if you poke them, you will lose some moisture and they may be slightly drier than you’d like. If they are cooked remove the sausages to a serving plate, leaving the onion and sage leaves in the pan.
Turn the heat up so the Bog Water begins to simmer, once it reduces slightly remove the sage leaves and discard.
Add 1 oz. of maple syrup, stir quickly to incorporate. It should thicken the bog water almost immediately. The bubbles should become big and frothy, at this point you can pour this thick sauce over the sausages.
It will make a spicy beer toffee!
With Dark Helmut
German Cheddar and Beer Fondue
From The Food Network
10 oz shredded sharp Cheddar
4 to 6 oz shredded Gruyere
1 rounded tablespoon all-purprose flour
1 cup Dark Helmut
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
A few drops of hot sauce
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ pounds cubed or thick sliced wursts: knock, brat or brot
1 package mini party franks
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained
1 small jar pickled onions
1 small loaf pumpernickel bread, cubed
Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour.
Add Dark Helmut to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon.
When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.
In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot.
In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated.
Add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan to crisp the casings.
Pile wursts and dogs near fondue.
Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.